Lotz murder accused has solid alibi, court told

Murder accused Fred van der Vyver’s alibi had been proved beyond reasonable doubt and he should be found not guilty, his advocate told the Cape High Court on Wednesday.

Van der Vyver (25) is accused of killing his student girlfriend Inge Lotz with a hammer at her Stellenbosch flat on the afternoon of March 16 2005.

In his closing argument, Dup de Bruyn told the court that a signal from Van der Vyver’s cellphone registered near his workplace at the time the state claimed the murder was taking place.

To suggest he had left it there while he drove to Stellenbosch was mere speculation, De Bruyn submitted, adding that the state had been unable to produce a single person to testify that Van der Vyver, an actuary, was away from work that afternoon.

Fellow employee Mkhuseli Mbomvu had told the court Van der Vyver had sat next to him at a workshop on March 15 and 16.

”He’s not a friend of the accused. Why would he come here and tell lies?” De Bruyn asked.

Judge Deon van Zyl remarked that it was the state’s case not that Mbomvu was lying, but that he was confused about the two days.

”But he was not confused that the accused was there on both days, and especially that he was there the whole day on Wednesday,” De Bruyn responded.

He contended that security evidence confirmed there was no way Van der Vyver could have left and then re-entered the building that afternoon without being picked up on the electronic card or camera surveillance systems.

Earlier, prosecutor Carine Teunissen told the court Van der Vyver probably had a much more serious disagreement with Lotz on the morning of the murder than he admitted.

Teunissen said on the probabilities, the unhappiness between the two had in fact been the ”hell of a fight” that Lotz reportedly told a friend about that day.

The so-called ”long letter” she wrote to Van der Vyver the same morning was not a love letter.

”It fits better with the unhappy partner in a relationship who had tried to placate the other and save what could be saved,” she told the court.

She submitted that Van der Vyver had made a deliberate attempt to suppress the letter, and in the wake of the killing had not mentioned to anyone that she had been crying that morning.

Teunissen claimed Van der Vyver, who initially chose not to testify, had contradicted himself in his testimony.

He had also adjusted his testimony, and was deliberately vague on some aspects.

He was an unsatisfactory witness, Teunissen submitted. — Sapa

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